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Battle royarrrrrgh!

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

March 19, 2024

1 Min Read
Splash art for World of Warcraft's Plunderstorm event.
Image via Blizzard Entertainment.

At a Glance

  • Plunderstorm gives WoW players a new mode, and Blizzard gets to test the waters for future limited-time events.

Blizzard is entering the battle royale space with World of Warcraft.

The MMO's newly released 10.2.6 update comes with a pirate-themed mode called Plunderstorm. In it, players fight to be the "last pirate standing" in a limited-time event.

Battle royales are nothing new for shooters, but not so common in MMOs. What's more, players will be playing as fresh pirates, rather than the WoW character they've had for years.

In the event, players find spells and abilities to use in combat. True to battle royale fashion, upgraded versions can be found in treasure chests, or by killing other players.

Plunderstorm let Blizzard break World of Warcraft combat

Why battle royale? According to associate director Jeremy Feasel, the team wanted to create a limited event that felt "outside" of WoW's main system.

In the video below, Feasel and lead engineer Orlando Salvatore broke down how Plunderstorm was made to fit within the game's framework.

For example, players have double jump and no fall damage. The latter is a small, but vital part of Apex Legends gameplay that Blizzard hopes will encourage Plunderstorm players to snatch up whatever they can before getting into a fight.

"Your builds will vary from match to match," explained Salvatore. "It all depends on what drops for you. Even auto-attack doesn't work like how it normally does in [regular] WoW."

In general, combat is more action-oriented, complete with telegraphed attacks from monsters and UI changes. The mode let the team break longstanding WoW rules, and both Salvatore and Feasel are hopeful it'll get future iterations.

"Now that we've got all this great backbone tech for creating in-game events," said Feasel, "we can look forward to making more in the future."

Plunderstorm is available for all active World of Warcraft subscribers.

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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